Biography of de Gaulle

The life of Charles de Gaulle was deeply marked by the relationship between France and Germany: the two World Wars, the reconciliation process and the first steps towards the European Union as we know it today.

During the First World War, de Gaulle was captain in the French army. He was wounded and made prisoner of war by the Germans. At the time of the Second World War, he was “general”. He fought against the Nazis and their collaborators and became the leader of the resistance.

In 1958 he became the first president of the Fifth Republic which he largely shaped. He put an end to the war in Algeria in March 18th 1962. In September of that year, he became the first French President to visit Germany – the “hereditary enemy”. He held his message of reconciliation in fluent German, a language which he had actually hoped never to speak again.

In France, he introduced many reforms to modernise the French economic and social landscape. With the help of the EEC Treaties he improved France’s economic growth, which is why the name of de Gaulle is strongly linked to the boom of the “trentes glorieuses”.

Click on the following link to get an overview of Charles de Gaulle’s life: